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France is among the countries with the oldest and most developed wine-growing tradition in Europe. This is due to the very different microclimatic environments and soils: each of the 14 French wine regions offers different grape varieties and organoleptic properties that vary from area to area. At xtraWine, you can choose from a wide selection of French red wines and French white wines that have been awarded major prizes by Hachette. These are the best French wines from the most important wineries such as: Philipponnat, Philippe Pacalet, Jacques Selosse, Domaine Louis Michel & Fils, Domaine de Rancy, Domaine Confuron Cotetidot, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Chartogne Taillet and Andre Clouet all produced in the most important wine growing areas of France. Not only French red wine and French white wine, on xtraWine you can also find orange label champagne and the best French grand cru wines all well structured and characterised by their intense fruity bouquet. Among the best vintages on xtraWine are 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 with some bottles distinguished by an ageing capacity ranging from 5 to 10 years and 15 to 25 years. The history of French wines is very ancient. It was the Greeks who planted the first vines in Marseilles, although it was later under the impetus of the Romans that cultivation reached its peak. In the Middle Ages, a primary role in cultivation was played by the clergy: the abbeys of Pontigny, Hautvillers and Cluny were responsible for the birth of new cellar processes and the very first studies on zoning. It was after the French Revolution that many properties were expropriated from the noble families and the Church and purchased by the bourgeoisie. In the second half of the 20th century, there was a downsizing of the area under vine, as the focus was placed on the quality of production and the concept of territoriality. Today, grape cultivation in France is very sectoral: each region has specialised in a few grape varieties so as to have a unique element that characterises it. Champagne is the region where the world's most famous and oldest sparkling wine is produced; it is located further north and is within a climatic zone that favours the ripening of grapes. Alsace, located in the north-east, benefits from an excellent microclimate thanks to the course of the Rhine river and the natural barrier of the Vosges: gewürztraminer, riesling and pinot gris are produced here. Burgundy, on the other hand, is famous for the production of pinot noir and especially chardonnay: the copious rainfall obliges winegrowers to a high planting density. Beaujolais, thanks to its granitic and marly soil, is perfect for gamay. The Loire Valley, located on the western border of Burgundy and favoured by a continental climate, produces excellent French white wines based on Chenin blanc and Sauvignon blanc, in both dry and softer versions. Bordeaux, is undoubtedly the realm of great French red wines, where cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc find their highest expression in the world. Languedoc-Roussillon is among the most extensive wine-growing regions: red wines characterised by a perfect balance of flavours are produced. The Rhône Valley is characterised by great French red wines based on Grenache and Mourvèdre in the south and based on Syrah in the north. In Provence, fresh and elegant rosé wines dominate, thanks to the influence of the sea to the south and the Alps from the north. In Corsica, wines are made from Italian grape varieties. Savoie and Jura, finally, have given rise to a special style of wine called 'vin jaune': through a six-year ageing process in wooden barrels, the must develops a light layer of yeast on the surface similar to the 'flor' of Port.
France is a hotbed of oenological excellence, a connoisseur's paradise, a country where wines are a reflection of its millennial culture and history. Names such as Bordeaux, Champagne, Chardonnay and Merlot evoke emotions and pleasure all over the world, guiding the souls of true wine lovers towards unforgettable experiences.
French wines are elevated through a pyramid classification, at the top of which are the AOCs (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée), equivalent to our AOCs and AOCGs. Bordeaux flaunts the nobility of aristocratic cuts, Burgundy reveals the elegance of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Champagne shines like a bubbly star. Alsace enchants with whites of unique taste, the Loire triumphs with Sauvignon, and Languedoc rekindles quality in innovative ways.
France embraces a millennial wine history, forged by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Viticulture spread through the territory thanks to them and developed even further with the Romans, who brought wine-making traditions from Italy. In the Middle Ages, monks perfected techniques, while the 17th century saw the creation of Champagne by Dom Perignon. Trade flourished over the centuries, thanks to port cities such as Bordeaux. The 18th century brought the Enlightenment and oenology thanks to Lavoisier, while the revolution democratised vineyards. The 19th century saw the devastating phylloxera epidemic, which was solved thanks to the grafting of American vines. After the Second World War, France was reborn as an oenological leader thanks to the'terroir' concept and economic growth.
We invite you to discover the world of French wines on xtraWine, the online destination for wine enthusiasts. From elegant Bordeaux to fascinating Champagne, from renowned Burgundy labels to Loire delicacies, you will find a wide and excellent selection. Visit our online store and experience an authentic transnational wine journey, enriching your special occasions with the best of French wine tradition.